Location_Piazza Roma, Pinerolo, Turin
Client_City of Pinerolo
The construction of a new open-air market in Pinerolo is meant to be an opportunity for urban regeneration. To achieve this goal, it is not enough to fulfill the function of hedging market activities. Piazza Roma is invested with the power of a new landmark, iconic and immediately recognizable by citizens as a public space, as a new agorà.
The vision is a shining jewel, graft in the urban fabric of Pinerolo.
An artifact that soars sharply like the ghimberga (gable) of the Cathedral of San Donato, which in turn formally dialogues with the surrounding Alpine peaks.
In this convergence of architecture and landscape there is the iconogenesis of the project, the figurative matrix that imprints the formal identity on the market hall.
Italian term ghimberga derives from the French guimberge, in turn derived from the German term wintberge, or “place that protects from the wind”.
We imagine the market hall as a place of protection: a common home, always open to the whole community.
The market hall has a rectangular plan whose sides line up with the facades of the buildings that circumscribe Piazza Roma.
Along the entire area (20 x 62 meters) the market is open and permeable. There is no impediment to the use of the covered square, no barriers or walls.
The building seems to hang above the heads of passers-by. It protects from bad weather and summer sun, while safeguarding natural lighting and ventilation.
The coverage of the market is deliberately monumental. In fact, the highest point reaches thirteen meters in height. This is because the wing does not want to be a mere technical tool, but an architectural emergency that affirms the importance of the public city, reserving for itself an important place in Pinerolo’s urban panorama.
The architectural language is closely linked to the archetype of the steel and glass halles, places with strong connotations that belong to the figurative and literary imagination of these lands where the proximity of France is tangible.
Main feature of the project is flexibility and capability to host a variety of events in addition to the Agricultural Producers Market.
The only fixed elements on the ground, in addition to the 16 pillars, are the benches and the toilet volume.
The relative constructive standardization allows a great construction site speed, such that the Agricultural Producers Market will have to find a different location for a short time. The need to organize the construction site in the simultaneous presence of residential functions and commercial activity on the ground floors of the buildings leads to light construction processes capable of generating the minimum possible quantity of dust, noise and vehicle traffic.
External cladding is in brass-colored pre-painted aluminum foil. A livery capable of maintaining its functionality and aesthetic appearance unaltered for decades, without any need for costly maintenance.
Inside there is no false ceiling or cladding: the structure shows its constructive logic made of HEA profiles and corrugated sheet. This spartan, yet sincere, solution is dictated by the desire to respect the given budget, avoiding architectural finishes not in line with the allocated funding.
To protect against rain and wind, there is a curtain-wall hung from the roof beams using tie rods and tensors. The horizontal elements of this glazed façade are deep enough to act as a brise-soleil, allowing direct sunlight to be dampened.
The seven bays have a syncopated rhythm, obtained through different spans and diversified pitch inclinations. Taking as reference the basic module of the 4 meter wide market stall, there are 2 bays of 4 metres, 3 of 8 metres, one of 12 meters and one of 16 metres.
The five central bays have a gabled roof, while the first and the last one have a single sloping pitch and end with a vertical elevation.
Although with different ridge heights, all bays have the impost at 2.8 meters above the ground. They run parallel to the short side of Piazza Roma, so as to form a unitary and powerful overall design on the long side.
Between one span and the other there is a small cavity which emphasizes the modularity of the construction. This cavity, which corresponds to the transverse reticular beam supporting the pitches, houses the rainwater collection gutter in the upper part and a linear lighting in the lower part. The pillars incorporate the drainpipes, the electricity outlet and water connection points serving the market activities.
The intervention in Piazza Roma consists also of a new pavement. A large light stone inlay outlines the ground with a fine and syncopated geometry.
Taking the heights of the sidewalks as an altimetric reference, the whole square is raised by 15 cm.
The driveway access from the surrounding streets takes place via bumps, causing a slowdown in vehicle speed.
The road that connects Corso Torino with via Buniva is transformed into a one-way street, while the side streets are closed using retractable hydraulic bollards. A large pedestrian area is created. A few meters beyond the ground projection of the market hall, additional bollards are installed alternating with long benches to ensure that private vehicles cannot drive over the square.